Review: 2022 Transition Repeater – The Electric Sentinel
As fun as it can be to ride up a fire road and then plunge down a steep descent over and over (and over again) aboard the Repeater, my favorite rides were more exploratory in nature, seeing where little-used motorcycle trails m ‘ve taken, and get into areas a little further off the beaten track. The Repeater’s geometry works well for both riding styles—it’s loose enough to get rowdy, but not so loose that it feels sluggish over rolling terrain.
That being said, it feels more alive at higher speeds compared to picking and shoving a technical line. These higher gears make it easier to lean into corners and take advantage of all the traction that comes from the added weight of the engine around the bottom bracket area. Also, the suspension is well supported, which keeps it from getting bogged down on really choppy sections of trail. I could have run a little more sag to make it even plusher, but the setup I ended up with offered plenty of grip without feeling too mushy on smoother sections of trail.
Jumping off a 50-pound e-bike comes with a small learning curve – it may take a few runs to get used to how the extra weight behaves in the air, especially if you’re coming from a larger vehicle. lightweight and non-motorized. Bicycle. It’s a little harder to find the balance between going too far and not going far enough, but the good news is that throughout all of this I haven’t experienced a hard bottom – the Float X2 does a great job handling big hits.
It’s been mentioned countless times before, but the Shimano EP8 motor makes a rattling noise on the harder decency. Rattle noticeability seems to depend in part on frame design – some frames are quieter than others. I would place the repeater in the middle of the road – the noise is there, but it wasn’t that bothersome. I would still like it to be phased out altogether, especially since we’re not talking about cheap bikes here.
How does it compare?
I had the Repeater on hand at the same time I was testing the new Santa Cruz Heckler, so a comparison between the two seems apt. Geometry-wise, the Repeater has 10mm more rear travel and a half-degree slacker head angle. The repeater range is a little longer, at 480mm versus 472mm, but not by much. I would put both bikes in the same category as far as intended use is concerned, although the Repeater has better specs for more aggressive riding thanks to the Fox 38 or Zeb fork depending on spec, beefier tires and stem longer telescopic saddle.
Price is always a sticking point when it comes to e-bikes, especially those with carbon frames – those things are pretty damn expensive, and the Repeater is no exception. The GX AXS version of the Heckler is the same as the US$10,999 Repeater, but there are a few differences. The Heckler gets a Performance Elite Fox 36, while the Repeater has factory-level suspension. The Heckler has Code R brakes, compared to the Magura MT7s. There’s also the aforementioned difference in the tires, but it’s the difference in battery capacity that really separates them – the Heckler has a 720Wh battery, versus the Repeater’s 630Wh.
What does all this mean on the track? Well, I was able to put in more miles before I ran out of juice on the Heckler. The repeater range is still decent, but I wouldn’t have said “no” to an even bigger battery. When it comes to suspension feel, both bikes have great traction, although I would nod to the Heckler when it comes to small bump sensitivity. The mixed-wheel Heckler was a bit more manageable on the tighter, rougher climbs, while the Repeater needed more clearance to really come alive. Out of the box, I’d say the Repeater will suit more aggressive riders who tend to ride at higher speeds, while the Heckler is a bit more versatile and would probably need some component swapping. for someone who was more focused on total downhill performance.